Portraits are one of the most predominant forms of art. It can be in the forms of a painting, photograph, sculpture, or any other form of artistic representation. Portraits depict a face, and the facial expression and characteristics are paramount in this form. Portrait displays the personality, likeness, and even the mood of the person vividly.
You may have noticed that portrait drawing includes people with different angles, settings, and numbers. These aren’t just a random composition of people’s profiles. These factors- size, setting, and position form a predefined effect. There are different types of portraits such as,
- Profile view: In profile view portraits, the person’s face or body profile is the primary focus.
- Full face view: in a full-face view, the person’s face appears, whether it is looking directly at the viewer or not.
- Three-quarter: A three-quarter view is a middle way in between the profile and full-face view.
- Self-portrait: Self-portraits are the representative of the artists in the form of painting or photographs.
Drawing a portrait is not a walk in a park. It’s far more complicated than it looks. A lot of practice is required to make an excellent human portrait, but the ability to bring a person to life only with a pen or pencil and a piece of paper is marvelous.
Here are a few tips for drawing unique portraits in just seven easy steps.
For drawing a bare male face, you’ll require the following tools.
- HB pencil
- Sketch paper
Step 1: Draw a circle followed by adding guidelines on the face
First, draw a large circle to outline the face. After that, make a horizontal line to portray the chin below it. To make the jawline, draw a vertical line down from the center of the face. The jawlines need to be prominent, so make sure both sides are symmetrical.
Now, place a ruler next to your drawing of the face in equal height. Draw eight similar lines in the ruler starting from the centerline. Draw faint lines with markings like centerline (in the middle) followed by A, B, C (below the centerline) and I, II, III (above the centerline).
Step 2: Eyes on the spot
For the eyes, draw four ticks in the centerline, two on each side spread equally. The eyes will sit roughly over these ticks so you can move above or below the line.
Step 3: Work on the nose
From the inner center of each eye, draw two lines vertically in a downward direction. These lines coming from the center of the eye will determine the nose’s width. After that, draw a circle between the lines. You can draw the nose shape as per your wish.
Step 4: Don’t forget the brows
We have the eyes and nose ready. Now, to draw the eyebrows proportionately, extend the nose’s bridge past the eyelids that’ll define the brow bone. Use a sharp HB pencil to draw a brow along the brow bone line. Draw the sharpness and the thickness of the eyebrow as you may like it
Step 5: Lips
You will need to make a triangle for the lips. But before that, draw a vertical line drop from the center of each eye. Make a triangle under the nose start. Now make the lip’s outer boundary accordingly.
Step 6: All ‘ears’!
For the ears, draw lines from the center line and line number II (below) to make each ear’s general boundary.
Step 7: The last step, hair!
The upper hairline should be between lines A and B, so draw accordingly. You can decide the length of hair, the size of the forehead.
How to draw different types of faces
The guidelines mentioned above will not work on all face types. Each face type has unique facial features. Try to experiment with various face shapes, nose, eyes, ears, lips, and hair to learn to draw different faces.
Essential points to keep in mind while portrait drawing:
- Try to capture the lights, shadows, and values carefully to give it a more realistic appearance.
- When you’re drawing self-portraits, use large mirrors and keep a correct posture when drawing yourself.
- Try making portraits under the setting of different lights like- morning, evening, misty mostly to see how different lights affect your portrait.
Portrait drawing can be fun and soul-enriching. Remember, details are essential to make a portrait look realistic, but focusing only on the details can also mean that you’re losing creativity. You no longer connect to the person’s personality you’re trying to capture in the portrait. So let your hair down, get creative, and draw your heart out.